Two Arrested in Attacks on Hemet Police

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The city to take steps to protect police after a series of booby trap attacks.

    Two men suspected in a series of attacks and booby traps targeting Hemet police are behind bars.

    Nicholas John Smit, 40, of Hemet and Steven Hansen, 36, of Homeland were arrested Friday night after separate raids on their homes by 80 officers who make up a multi-agency task force, according to Hemet police.

    Hemet Arrests

    [LA] Hemet Arrests
    Mary Parks pkg. Two men arrested for terrorizing Hemet Police. (Published Monday, Jul 5, 2010)

    The attacks and traps started December 31 of last year when a gas line was routed into the Hemet-San Jacinto Valley Gang Task Force building. The attacks include arson fires, a booby-trapped gate that fired a bullet at an officer, a suspicious device attached to an unmarked car and four city vehicles burned in the Hemet City Hall parking lot.

    Most recently in June, a military rocket, pointed at the police station was found on the roof of a nearby market, and then a building that housed police evidence gathered from the attacks was set on fire.

    Investigators had speculated that the crimes were the work of the Vagos motorcycle gang or a group of white supremacists. Police are trying to determine if Smit or Hansen have any gang connections.

    Smit is being held on suspicion of making a booby trap and assault on a police officer with intent to commit murder. Hansen is being held for a parole violation and weapons charges.

    Police say at least two other suspects remain at large.

    There have been no injuries in any of the attacks.